Sunday, 6 December 2009

The frame goes up at last!

Thank you to everyone for your concern about David following his recent surgery. I am very pleased and relieved to announce that all danger has passed, he is well on the way to recovery, had his first short, chilly walk around the garden yesterday and is thoroughly bored - always a good sign!

Given all the above progress, I thought it was time for the promised post on the day David came up to help us build the tea house frame on site - because, as Himself commented, David was absolutely the best person for the job! As a surgeon, David has had to be thorough, meticulous, precise, not panic when things go wrong and not rush things (sound familiar?!), all of which suited Himself down to the ground for putting the frame together!
First though, I had yet more painting of the 3 coat sealant to do!

The dry beams and posts were carried onto site - about 100 yeards up the garden!
Himself had earlier removed the posts that he, I and the Gnomelets had previously erected twice (*sigh*) then he and David began to lay out the pieces like a 3D puzzle.

Daring to glue the first joint!

Of course, being Himself and David, a few screws went in too ..... just to be on the safe side you understand - can't be too careful!

Checking the diagonals to ensure the corner angles were all even.

The long side of the frame in place, levels being checked - and, oh look, I'm balanced on a wobbly plank over water again! I am convinced that Himself thinks that if he puts me on a plank across the pond often enough, at some point I WILL fall in - and that'll be his payback for all his hard work. Mwahhaahaaa!

Some joints needed a bit of persuasion to go together after glueing, so we brought out our trusty strop and hand ratchet (originally used for pulling me - well, the Land Rover actually, out of muddy holes in off road driving competitions!). It works just as well for pulling chunks of wood together though!
Guess who got to walk the plank again?

Squatting down to put the strop round the bottom beam didn't make me fall in even when Himself 'accidentally' kicked the other end of the plank, so he then had me up on my tiptoes to shove the strop as high up as I could reach - ostensibly to pull the top posts together, but I knew his cunning little plan.........!
David meanwhile happily carried on glueing the next set of joints, seemingly oblivious to his son's nefarious tricks to dunk me in the drink!

Don't be fooled by that innocent expression of concentration as he tightens up the ratchet, he was really planning his next move!

Having failed to get me wet, Himself resorted to putting up the back wall frame and muttering to himself about "....her improved balance.... chunter, chunter"! David happily carried on holding posts in position.

Moving swiftly on to erect the long side wall against our boundary.

Got to keep checking those diagonals boys!
The strop was used for fine-ish adjustment.

Bracing was put in place to provide some short-term stability and rigidity to the structure whilst the concrete went off.........

Each upright post had a stainless steel 'foot' which was concreted into a post hole. Of course plain simple concrete wasn't considered strong enough(!), so stainless steel wall ties were threaded through the foot and angled into the concrete - just to make sure!!!

As Technician, Third Class still working on my promotion prospects, I was allowed to pour and shape the cement - making sure that it sloped away from the foot for drainage.

As Gordon Ramsey might say........."Framework -Done"!

and I still hadn't fallen in!


Kylee Baumle said...

This is exciting! And good job - maybe you were a ballerina in a former life? LOL.

Liz said...

Hi Liz,

Great job, very exciting!

Not too sure why exactly you're still risking falling in the water though... ;) I know by now I would've told someone else to get on the plank...

Cheryl said...

Hi Ruth...tku for dropping by my blog and your kind comments.

This is a big project....but I can see where you are going. It will look stunning....I shall look forward to seeing it finished.

You have wonderful balance.I have to say that I most certainly do not.....a huge problem when you garden alone.....

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Kylee - it IS exciting and I'm loving it .... but I don't think I was ever a ballerina in any existence!

Before I started doing so much Tai Chi, I was constantly falling over, pinging off furniture and walls and knocking things over - I was SO clumsy you wouldn't believe it. I couldn't even stand on one leg without holding my breath to have enough muscle tone to not fall over - I can't say stay upright, because I couldn't do upright!

Hi Liz - I'm keeping Himself sweet so that he'll finish the job!!!(and the Gnomelets refuse to walk the plank!)

Hi Cheryl - thank you for popping in and for your lovely kind comments. BTW, I'm Liz ....First-Born Gnomelet is Ruth and she does the technical backup on my blog! Don't worry, lots of people have made the same mistake :)

I have to say that my balance WAS appalling - and when I'm tired it still is! Doing Tai Chi has improved it no end but I know what my limitations are when I'm out gardening alone - mainly through injuring myself in the past!!!

LeSan said...

Oh just get it over with and jump in already! LOL
What a project you have going here. This is where I could us a little more of Himself in my Saint (DH). He can't build a birdhouse, at least not one a bird would dare live in let alone a tea house. I am full of envy. It's a good kind though. The kind of burning envy that says "sure she's got a great tea house and a husband who won't get her killed in the process of having tea but I'm still in my jammies with a cup of coffee while she's hovering over water on a plank again." You know, that kind of envy.

Great post you! Loved it and I am so enjoying seeing all of this hard work. Glad to hear that Mr.David is well enough to be bored. A very good thing indeed.

Tootsie said...

oh this is so exciting...I can't I can imagine how you must feel!

D said...

Liz, good piece of work! and so happy to see your progress. I was afraid Himself had you putting up the structure by yourself. ;) Looking forward to the ongoing saga.

Thomas said...

This project is extensive! I'm dying to see how it all comes together. I'm sure it will bring you loads of peace and tranquility for years to come. Shall I ask you what your first cup of tea will be inside your tea house? Earl Grey? English Breakfast? Jasmine?

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi LeSan - nope, he's got to work for his laugh if he wants me in the pond jumping!!!

Haha - I know that kind of envy....I had the same kind reading your posts about dealing with your evil rock!!! We could do swapsies for a bit .....I'll send Himself over to work with the Saint and you can come here and move rocks with me!

Hi Tootsie ...oh boy are you going to love what's coming up soon!!!(I can be such a tease at times!)

Hi Di - as the titch of the family (at 5"2') and the one who rapidly gets bored by technical stuff, my attempts at tea house building wouldn't have got past the drawing stage! I'm much more of a 'jump in feet first then think of a plan' person - which is exactly how we came to be doing this in the first place!!! Himself is my star!

Hi Thomas - it's amazing but already, even in its unfinished state, there is a definite air of tranquility and serenity about that part of the garden (if you ignore the hammering!).
My firs cup of tea? Hmm? Some have suggested that it should be G&T, but it will probably be ......Green Tea. I love Green Tea - but I may choose the one with jasmine in! :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I seem to have missed the bit about David needing surgery, but am glad to hear he is doing well. And, hooray!, a frame. How exciting!!

Ruth said...

Look mum - I read your post (like I always do) and now I'm commenting (like I usually don't)!
If you haven't fallen in by the time its finished, I'm sure I could give you a nudge ;)
See you next week,
First born Gnomelet xxx

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Monica - David is improving every day now, so that's a huge relief to us all!
Putting the frame up was a great day ..... and I can hardly wait to share the next stage with you all! :)

Hi Ruth, ha ha - no nudges, dad can do that without any help from Gnomelets!!! :)
Looking forward to you coming home for Christmas hon.
love mum xxx

Pat said...

Just thinking...looks like you'll have a vacation resort when done.

Shady Gardener said...

Liz, This is looking so great... and isn't it nice to have the extra help? I'm so glad your father-in-law is feeling up to all this! As for your falling in the pond... has Himself had occasion to do this, yet?

I think you should start a poll... "Who will fall in first?" ;-)

I'm really happy that you all continue to work on this project and I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome!

nilla|utanpunkt said...

Wow, this is the art of not losing a screw in the wrong moment... Impressed as usual, and good luck with the rest!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Liz

It's great when it all comes together isn't it.

Sensible to use metal footings and wall ties, you don't want a gale in January lifting it and dumping it down the road.

Now all the tourists are gone, the xmas rush is now happening over here(not). I was in the supermarket in Sarlat today and had to wait 60 seconds to get through the till as somebody was in front!

We have the same cold spell forcast as the UK. Frost from tonight. The UK met office reckon it could be a prolonged cold period which is a pain as I drive up to Oxfordshire on the 22nd. Hope there's no snow!!!

Tootsie said...

have a fantastic weekend!

Gordon Mason said...

I loved the concept of the trusty strop.

When our son was younger he could always be relied on for a strop.

D said...

Liz, I can't seem to find you on Blotanical. Are you acting incognito? ;)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Patsi ...I'm taking bookings now - for 2011!!! :)

Hi Shady - we've been very lucky in the number of people who have volunteered to work on this with us! I think David wanted to help us in summer because he knew he'd have to spend a large chunk of winter recovering from his surgery!He was a fantastic help too.

No, neither of us has fallen in yet - but I've had a welly full of water a couple of times :P
I suspect that if anyone does go in then it will most likely be me!

Lots more posts coming up to get you up to where we are with it now!

Hi Camellia - I have to confess to Himself having dropped a couple of nails into the pond whilst he was nailing the shingles on the roof!

Thanks for your good wishes - we need it's getting jolly cold working out there now! :(

Hi Rob - given Himself's attention to detail, that tea house is going NOWHERE!!!

Oh the joy of no queues in shops! We went to Manchester Christmas shopping on friday on our way to stay with friends in Wales was HELL (M'chester, not our friends!)I couldn't wait to get out of there.

Wales was very cold, freezing fog and a heavy frost - but we had a great hill walk on Saturday followed by 3 pints of Old Perculiar that went down rather too nicely over a pub lunch! The walk back went very quickly :)

Have a safe drive to Oxfordshire - hope there's no snow or fog until after you arrive. If you want a break from your break, just give us a ring - it'd be great to see you both again!

Hi Tootsie - it was a great weekend thanks, how was yours? More decorating?!

Haha Woody - I love that! Stroppy children are always good for a laugh!

Hi Di - thans for that. I don't know why I didn't show up, but I couldn't find me either! I could get to the 'my plot' bit, but not link to my blog so I've resubmitted the url link and, hopefully, I'll be back up in a day or two. I have to confess that I find Blotanical a bit unwieldy and not terribly user friendly ... or maybe it's just me ;)

D said...

Liz, and I thought it was ME! when I go to my posts, it says I don't have a profile (although it shows on another page), and when I ask for my list of articles it give me an error message. You are correct, has not been user friendly and not sure why I keep trying. Nothing should be this difficult.

Nutty Gnome said...

It's been driving me up the wall - it took me about 3 attempts to get registered in the first place and then I was finally listed - and then I mysteriously vanished! If they don't sort it out soon I'm going to give up on it're right, it really shouldn't be this difficult!

janie said...

I have searched the whole of Blotanical, and I cannot find a blogger named 'Nutty Gnome" nor a blog called "Nutty Gnome"- not "A Nutty Gnome", nor "The Nutty Gnome". You just are not there, somehow. Not even a 'Liz" on the blogger locater. I am trying to find a plot page for you, and I would like to read more of your blog, but I am stuck on this post, while very interesting, just isn't enough.

Can you tell me where I am going wrong? I would really, really appreciate it. ~janie

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How did I miss this? Glad to get caught up and see the framework there. You're getting close now. Glad you stayed dry :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Janie - nice to meet you. I've seen you on Blotanical but I can't find me either! I was there, then I didn't do anything on it for ages and I vanished! I've had to put my URL in as an additional blog and am now waiting for them to decide if they want me - again!!! I'm getting VERY frustrated with it all :(
Don't worry, it's not you!

However, if you put into your address bar you should get directly to the whole of my blog to read the full saga in all its nuttiness! (I've just checked that it does work too!)

Hi Catherine - it's starting to look like a real proper structure now. Himself is making a fantastic precision job of it and I'm so proud of him and the way he has worked it all out so that it looks so stunning ..... but you'll have to wait until the posts catch up with reality!! ;)

Amalee Issa said...


How lovely to have your comments, although I dont live in Chesvegas, just gravitate towards it when the sign lights up on the parental taxi service... I really am going to have to get my act together and at least make some effort to remember my log-in details for blotanical - this could be the push required!. I've left a comment on yr talented daughter's blog too.


Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Amalee - I also know the parental taxi service only too well, but at least with us being in Chesvegas the Gnomelets can take them selves out and about independently a fair bit!

Thanks for leaving a comment on Cooplets blog - those sites look very interesting, I'm sure she'll love them. I need to prompt her to up date it a bit as she's now a second year and makes loevely craft things to sell on her Etsy site. She's also starting to sell the gorgeous jewellery that Last-Born (Loopsie Daisies)makes .....she works in Kiki Beads near Chessi library/Organic Heaven on Saturdays and I swear she spends all her earnings on new stock!!! :)

Olive Tree said...

Hi, it's a great blog.
I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!

leavesnbloom said...

Hello I found your blog through blotanical.
I had to check to see that you were in the UK as we had heavy frost and little sun last weekend in Scotland. I am so looking forward to seeing how this develops.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi OTGE. Thanks for that - still plenty more to come!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Leavesnbloom, nice to meet you and thanks for your kind comments. Don't worry - I am in the UK, but my blog is a few months behind real-time but I'm hoping to catch up soon! Mind you, I've got lots of posts in my head, so I may still be behind for some time yet! :)

Unseen India Tours said...

Hi !! You have done a fantastic Job !! So beautiful and Fantastically !!

D said...

Good morning Liz and have I got a deal for you. ;) Just hop on over and see something you might like. Diana

Fennie said...

Hallo Nutty Gnome. Thanks for dropping by my blog. You have clearly got your work cut out. I'm sure then end result will be worth all the effort

Nutty Gnome said...

Unseen Rajasthan, hi - thank you! It will be wonderful when it's finished, but even in its current half-finished state it looks great! :)

Hi Di - I've just been over and thank you!!!!

Fennie - hello and welcome to my blog. My little project turned out to be a bigger task that I'd envisaged but you're right - it's going to be so worth the effort!